Ask an Ambassador: why limit the characters in headlines?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

While you can keep typing that headline after 70 characters, there is a good reason not to put important stuff past 70 characters.  But there is a REALLY REALLY good reason for the count.  You've heard about the Google spiders right?  Well they read headlines.  But they only read the first 70 (approximate) characters.  So anything after that is NOT going to help index and rank your post. It's not just important on ActiveRain, but a habit you should adopt for your WP blog too if you have one.


I also want to take the time to point out to you the benefit of an ActiveRain "Rainmaker" membership right now too.
  If your post is members only it's going to be searchable within the community by other members and will show up on the blog roll, but it will NOT be indexed and ranked on Google.

The headline, in my opinion, is the very most important part of your blog.  It's HUGE in your blog being found.   When I started adding the words "new listing, affordable, cheap listing, foreclosure, bank owned combined with my usual key term of the area I specialize in "Lake Sinclair" my clicks on those posts doubled and tripled from the time before I learned that. So a headline that would perhaps be a search term you think your target consumers might type is the best headline you can write for a post.

That 70 character count made me realize that I needed to put the important stuff that Google would use to rank. On my other blog that allows longer titles I've learned to write the important stuff at the beginning of the post. The first 70 characters of the headline SHOULD be things you think potential clients will be searching for on line to find you. And it's important to put your key words at the beginning of your headline.  Anything beyond 70 characters and you can expect that those words won't be indexed and help your SEO.

How does an ActiveRain post help your SEO on your own site?  Link backs.  Organic linkbacks to relevant searches and posts and pages on your site. ActiveRain gets a lot of traffic so Google likes it.  I still have posts I wrote here years ago with live links to IDX searches for certain neighborhoods and still get regular traffic to my site via those older posts every week.

Oh and while I am at it, let me invite you to join the Ask an Ambassador Group.  It's a great place to get your blogging/ActiveRain questions answered and learn a LOT about blogging from members willing to help and give you tips, suggestions and answers.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 01/22/2017 01:00 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
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Rainmaker
115,158
Alison Creamer
Keller Williams Elite - Virginia Beach, VA
Realtor,MRP,ABR, CDPE,IMSD,HamptonRoads

Thank you for this .... I had no idea about the 70 characters. I build lots of content but Im not well versed in the "tech" side of blogging. My Meta tags, descriptions and deeper values have to be tweaked by my SM assistant. At least I now know My TITLE needs to be just right for google spiders !!!! Thanks again !

Dec 31, 2016 04:00 AM #8
Rainmaker
3,952,655
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year to you and your family. Good luck in achieving your goals in 2017.

Dec 31, 2016 04:38 AM #9
Rainmaker
35,295
Nancy Manby
William Raveis Real Estate - Norwalk, CT
Your Downsizing Specialist

Thanks Tammy. Once again, I learned something very valuable! Happy New Year

Dec 31, 2016 05:18 AM #10
Ambassador
3,266,429
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Tammy- I'm glad you posted this because it's a good reminder for many of us, and new information to those who may be new to the community.  

Dec 31, 2016 02:17 PM #11
Ambassador
3,550,333
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Tammy

Thanks for a very good reminder, and detailed rationale, for using the right number of characters, or less, and the right keywords so our posts can be found. You have to think strategically!

Jeff

Dec 31, 2016 04:01 PM #12
Rainmaker
2,557,196
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, excellent explanation and great tips.

The 70 characters is a guideline/approximation.  It's really about how much space the characters take up.  So if you have a lot of narrow characters (e.g. i, l, etc) sometimes more will show.  Likewise, if you have wide letters, sometimes only 67 characters will show.

Nonetheless, it's all about the using the key words in the title and earlier on.  I'm so with you and I try my best to do my titles in the way you've suggested.

Dec 31, 2016 04:55 PM #13
Ambassador
2,478,736
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I swear - 70 characters in titles, 140 character in Tweets - why do we have to be so suppressed, Tammy Lankford,?!  LOL  I sometimes will go over but, most of my localism posts are short - keywords only.

Dec 31, 2016 07:06 PM #14
Rainer
72,245
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

Fascinating. I never knew. Thanks

Dec 31, 2016 08:14 PM #15
Rainmaker
522,878
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Thanks for sharing, Tammy! I'm a fairly new blogger and trying to figure out how to best attack this SEO monster. Great help!

Dec 31, 2016 10:11 PM #16
Rainmaker
653,157
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Thank you for the tip to add new listing to the 70 characters, good idea, now just to fit it in.

Jan 01, 2017 04:56 AM #17
Rainmaker
2,257,729
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Titlesremain like heralds announcing & setting-up what is to come

Jan 01, 2017 07:19 AM #18
Rainmaker
4,549,898
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Congratulations on your feature recognition. This is excellent advice to share.

Jan 01, 2017 06:33 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,673,733
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Good evening Tammy Lankford,  I just had to make sure I stopped in to say Happy New year to you and Donald.

Jan 01, 2017 09:25 PM #20
Rainmaker
2,328,515
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Tammy, thanks this is a good reminder. Happy New Year.

Jan 02, 2017 07:10 PM #21
Ambassador
2,016,699
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Happy New Year, Tammy!

    Good advice about Google not reading anything past the 70th character.

  Great new profile pic, BTW.

Jan 02, 2017 07:27 PM #22
Rainer
401,789
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Tammy,

That sounds like a long title, but your reasoning makes sense.

Jan 02, 2017 08:58 PM #23
Rainmaker
438,182
Sondra Meyer:
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Happy 2017 Tammy. Thank you for making sure we know about the importance of titles with regards to SEO.

Jan 03, 2017 09:43 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,158,476
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Yes, keeping titles short helps us!

Jan 22, 2017 05:06 AM #25
Rainmaker
848,446
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Tammy Lankford, - Really good information that you shared. We want our posts to rank and you gave us all a clue how to make that happen. Thank you!

Jan 22, 2017 11:16 AM #26
Rainmaker
528,930
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

As Always very good information... clearly spelled out and easy to understand.. I did think you might say because headlines are not paragraphs... but that is why I am not an ambassador! haha!

Jan 30, 2017 01:51 AM #27
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Tammy Lankford,

Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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